In addition to our viewing of the moon and Saturn tonight in Monrovia,
there are a couple of interesting passes for the International Space
Station and the famous decaying spy satellite referred to as USA 193.
First to pass is the spy satellite. It will be magnitude 1.2 at its
brightest, not as bright as the bright planets or brightest stars, but
should be easily visible.
It will first become visible low in the southwest at 6:33 p.m., and
reach its maximum altitude near Mars at 6:35 p.m. It will fade out a
minute later in the northeast.
Then there's the International Space Station (ISS) which has shuttle
Atlantis docked at the moment. It will be the brightest thing in the
sky besides the moon.
ISS will first appear in the northwest at 6:41 p.m., and reach maximum
altitude, almost overhead, at 6:44 p.m. It will enter the earth's
shadow about a minute later.
Orbiting satellites look like moving stars, and follow very different
paths in the sky from airplanes. Their light comes from the sun shining
on them -- they don't produce any light of their own. If it blinks,
it's an airplane. :)
We'll be pointing them both out in Monrovia tonight, but they should be
visible from most anywhere near L.A.
Old Town Astronomers: http://www.otastro.org